In the age of technology where everyone with access to a smartphone or computer is given a virtual stage on which to voice their concerns with the world, we are bound to stumble across the occasional “Keyboard Warrior,” standing on their little glorified, digital soapbox in an otherwise-peaceful comment thread under a perfectly innocent video posted to Facebook, just trying to shout loud enough for their voice to be heard over the rest. Hiding behind a computer screen gives people a perfect opportunity to pick fights with those who disagree with them, and they cherish the attention; I’m certain of it. They adore getting a rise out of people.
I came across a video earlier this week. As many of us know, June 26th marked two years since the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 States in my country. Being queer myself, it could be said that this moment in history was a pivotal one for me; it was an eye-opener, certainly. I had been mostly-closeted since about sixth grade, and had come out as bi in high school (even though the label didn’t quite fit me, but that’s beside the point). I’d only told my mother later on in high school that I was bi so she would stop making rather absurd comments about “dykes” and so on while in my presence, because while I am generally quite adept at being unaffected by such remarks, hearing those things from the woman who raised me struck a chord. When same-sex marriage was legalised in all of America, I celebrated privately; my father sat across the sitting room and muttered about “the gays” and how “they get all these rights” and how “they’re all going to hell.” My mother looked like her lunch hadn’t agreed with her as she gave me a far-too-obvious look of sympathy, as if she were silently apologising for my father’s bigotry; which was ridiculous, because it was something I grew up with and had grown used to. But I ignored both of them and celebrated inwardly, smiled to myself and pretended I was laughing at something on my phone.
Anyway, I mentioned a video.
The video was on Facebook, and it was a brief story on two elderly women who’d been in love with each other since they were young. They’d been life partners for… I don’t know, almost fifty years? Something like that. They waited until same-sex marriage was legalised so that they could get married in their home state, and so they got married two years ago. It was a touching video.
I didn’t know what the hell I was expecting when I went to read the comments. Of course there were countless messages of support and adoration, people tagging friends and saying “#goals” and so on. But then, of course, because there has to be someone on every thread to ruin a good, innocent thing, there were the Christians.
Let me pause for a moment here, because saying “here come the Christians” is, of course, a very broad statement that implies my contempt for religious folk. That’s not what I intend to portray in the least.
I was raised Lutheran. Baptised in the Lutheran Church. Went to Lutheran Church. Was confirmed in the Lutheran Church. Picked up quite a few Catholic habits along the way. I have two sets of rosary beads; one of which belonged to my late grandmother on my father’s side, and was blessed by the Pope (the last one). I know all my prayers, and I want the beginning of the Hail Mary in Latin tattooed on the inside of one bicep.
My relationship with God is a strange one; it’s not that I really, really believe in a higher power. I am a person of science. I don’t think there’s a giant being in the sky who whipped us all up out of clay and breathed life into man, took one of his ribs and from it made a woman. I don’t think anything otherworldly happens to us when we die; I believe that, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed, when our consciousness ceases to exist, what makes us up physically is given back to the universe. Our bodies in the ground deteriorate and feed the Earth, giving new life to vegetation. We are in the Earth, in all the creatures of Earth, in the air in our atmosphere, and beyond. That’s what I believe.
I am not so closed-minded as to say there is no higher power at all whatsoever. Who knows? Really, none of us know. The thing I love about science is that there are always questions. With religion, it’s just like, “hey, how did this happen?” and the answer is something like “well God did this and this and this.” And there are no further questions. I like thinking and wondering and exploring and finding things. But that’s just me.
I’ll still go to church if someone asks me to go with them. I’ll take communion and sing the hymns and say my prayers and be sincere about it. I think religion is interesting, and I like praying, because it’s medetative. I’m not praying to a divine being to take away all my problems or bless me with a bit of luck or ask that the Cubs win the World Series again. That’s not what I’m doing; it’s a self-medetative sort of thing that gives me a chance to focus on something repetitive and be introspective, and I enjoy it.
And I’ll tell you what, if there is a God, then my God loves every one of his children, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other factor that never fails to divide us as human beings.
But I’m getting carried away here. Back to the comment section of this Facebook video. There was a woman, and her comment was only near the top because of the amount of backlash she got. She was very religious. Okay, not a problem. She was very, very against same-sex marriage. Alright, also not a problem. Just like with my father, who now knows I’m a bit gay, I always say that if you don’t agree with how I am, that’s totally fine. You’re not obligated to. You don’t have to. We can disagree and still be civil. That’s just the professional and decent thing to do. As long as neither of us are hurting ourselves or one another or other people, then we can respect our differences, put them aside, and move on.
Some people don’t seem to think that way.
This woman was hurling insult after insult, referencing scripture like she had all the books memorised, speaking God’s word like she was the big man himself. And you know what? I fucking loved her enthusiasm. But the way she went about telling us that our lifestyle is wrong, about how this is Satan’s temptation, about how we are being blinded by lust and pursuing the sins of the flesh and how we are ABOMINATIONS (every time she used that word it was in all capital letters, I shit you not), and how we better heed her word because she is delivering God’s warning and come judgement day when we stand before the Lord and he asks us why we didn’t heed his warning and “this very comment section scrolls in the air before your very eyes” (again, I shit you not), and we’ll burn in Hell and blah blah blah.
If it were just one or two or maybe even three comments, I would have let it go. But Holy Hell, did this woman like to type.
I’ll say this; if God wants to send me some warnings, he’d better find a messenger with better grammar. Good Lord, I was almost more upset by her spelling and punctuation (or lack thereof) than I was by her message.
I didn’t reply to her comments. Obviously. I don’t want to get caught up in that mess. But I read quite a few of them, and a bit of the back-and-fourth between her and some other commenters who were pulled in by her baiting.
It would seem that many Christians forget about the whole, “do not judge lest ye be judged” thing. They are reminded about it and they really enjoy coming back at that with, “oh, okay, you tell the judge next time you’re in a courtroom not to judge, and then see how much jail time you get!”
That, firstly, is bullshit. The judicial system- the law system is in place for a reason; to keep knuckleheads like you lot safe, despite the fact that you’re an asshole. You’re just a non-violent asshole. Since when was being gay violent? We’re actually quite nice people. It’s kind of the whole point. We love each other. We wave rainbow flags around and put glitter all over ourselves to go march through the streets and we hug everyone we can. We got a law passed so that we could love each other to full capacity. Pretty much the opposite of violent.
When it comes to God’s Commandments, HE is the only one who can judge people when it’s their time to approach the pearly gates. THAT IS WHAT THAT MEANS. YOU cannot sit there at your desk, hiding behind your computer screen, and go all Keyboard Warrior on everyone’s asses and tell everyone they’re going to Hell because they are in love with someone.
I’m pretty sure God would rejoice in seeing his children living happy and fulfilled lives, spreading love and getting love and raising beautiful children to be repsectful and responsible and to love their neighbours and NOT BE ASSHOLES TO STRANGERS IN A COMMENT THREAD ONLINE. REGARDLESS OF GENDER IDENTITY OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
One of the things the woman said that I wanted to expand upon had to do with lust, and the sins of the flesh. In addition to this, a woman and a woman, or a man and a man, can’t reproduce.
For the first bit. I am asexual. I am genderqueer (still discovering myself, mostly androgynous), asexual, and pan-romantic (I am purely intellectually (emphasis on intellectually) and emotionally attracted to people; regardless of what they identify as). I have never experienced physical or sexual attraction to anyone. The only physical relationship I’ve been in (past the kissing/hand-holding/cuddling stuff) was something that happened that I wasn’t 100% (or even 50%) into, that I tried to stop numerous times, and which was influenced by a great deal of emotions that I couldn’t control because of several medications I was on at the time.
Emotionally manipulated and biologically (chemically) compromised. I like to pretend it didn’t happen.
Anyway, I’m asexual. So you can bet you arse I’m not blinded by lust or sins of the flesh. My love is probably more pure than a lot of God-fearing Christian’s.
The second notion, regarding the fact that two women/two men can’t reproduce. This is true; but an infertile woman or a sterile man wouldn’t be able to reproduce.
Oh, but that’s part of God’s plan, right?
Maybe it is. But infertility certainly isn’t normal, by society’s standards, is it? Following that train of thought, birth defects aren’t normal. She said being gay isn’t normal; so would you tell people with birth defects or people who had dysfunctional reproductive systems that they were going to Hell because they’re not normal?
Would you tell someone who had a certain pigment of skin or a certain colour to their eyes that they were going to Hell because of how they were born, with that skin colour, and those eyes?
If you would do that, then you’re a rotten person. But no; you wouldn’t tell someone they were going to Hell just because of how they were born.
I hate to break it to you non-believers out there, but being gay is something you’re born with. I didn’t learn to be queer. No one around me was gay, there wasn’t gay media on the television when I was growing up (not that I was exposed to, anyway), there was nothing. I just found out I had a crush on a girl in seventh grade. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. I took it in stride, just like I’d done with the boy I had a crush on in sixth grade. Kept it to myself, because that’s what I did.
I found out later that being gay was a thing. Girls who liked girls and boys who liked boys were “different.” I didn’t think anything of it when my mother asked “are there any cute boys at school?” and she didn’t ask about girls. I just said “no” how I always did and carried on with my life.
It’s not a grand revelation, realising that you’re gay. At least, it wasn’t for me. Kind of like how you just know your hair is blonde; you know you like boys, or you like girls, or you like both. I know that I have a constellation of small moles on my left arm by my elbow; I know that my arms over-extend; I know that the first thing I look at on a girl is her eyes, the second her smile, the third thing her hair; I know that my favourite fruits are Valencia oranges, mangoes, and pomegranates. It’s just a fact about yourself that you just know. I don’t know how else to explain it.
But anyway. I’ve ranted myself out for today. A little abrupt on the cut-off here, but I think I have to go downstairs and do some chores. But I wanted to post something today, so here it is. Hope you enjoyed.
Any thoughts or comments, do let me know. If anyone wants to discuss this topic further, I’m all ears.
Until next time, dear readers.
Sam, signing off.